tv BBC World News PBS August 20, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PDT
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>> and now, "bbc world news." >> fierce fighting in libya as rebel forces continue to push towards tripoli. more bloodshed in syria. vicious and cowardly. washington and london condemn the attack on the british council in cobble redeemable \ \ / \ -- in kabul at least at least -- left at least 12 dead. the month after the norway attack, relatives visit the scene of the killing for the first time. a players' strike over unpaid wages delays the start of the spanish football season.
>> intense fighting has been taking place in libya. rebels are battling with forces loyal to colonel gaddafi. to the east of the capital, the rebels are claiming a significant victory. they say they've taken control. to the west, the rebels have been fighting street battles. in a moment, the latest from the front with our correspondent. first, this report from inside syria. >> this afternoon, the assault to clear gaddafi's forces began. high on adrenaline, the rebels celebrate as each shot is ticking them closer to tripoli. up until now, they have been using small arms, mortars, and
rocket grenades. now they have a russian-made tanks. they are firing down the street into the square where gaddafi's forces are still holding out. the problem for the rebels and for us is the snipers. we've taken up into the one high building the rebels now control. it is their single vantage point overlooking the square. it is there on sniper nest. the green flags to show just how close we are to gaddafi's position. even appear, the threat from sniper fire is constant justic as it is for the fighters down below. >> the situation is very dangerous. the gunmen are on the high
roofs. >> gaddafi's forces continue to return fire all afternoon. they are not running away. the rebels know if they can win here, the road to tripoli will be open. >> the casualties kept coming. by the middle of the afternoon, the death toll was more than 30. the rebels blamed their light weapons for their heavy losses. they vowed to fight on, determined to the advance towards tripoli. >> we will chase gaddafi from one hole to another. >> another casualty is being taken away and brought to the hospital in misurata for further
treatment. the wounded have been arriving steadily over the last few hours. a lot of heavily wounded fighters have been brought in. the doctors say this is one of the worst days they have seen. nearby, this father lost his only son today in the battle. for other families, this was a day of reunions. it was a day when freedom finally came. hundreds of civilians who had been trapped were held to safety by the rebels. the family was stranded for five months after fleeing the shelling in misurata. >> words cannot express my happiness. i hope the same will happen in tripoli. >> then it was into the car to head for home. they have been dreaming of victory for months.
now they and many others believe they can smell it. bbc news in misurata. formernel gaddafi's deputy has defected and is on his way to europe, according to the rebels. he helped colonel gaddafi come to power in 1967. the fighting in libya continues with the rebels. i spoke with someone involved in the uprising. >> this morning, the freedom fighters started to fight at 11:00. they pushed the gaddafi forces outside. we're having a big celebration right now. the hospital has been liberated as well.
the area has been liberated. >> how important was it to take over the oil refineries? >> it is very important to us as freedom fighters. it is a disadvantage to the government and gaddafi forces. it could supply us with some fuel for the freedom fighters. >> we have not heard much about the activity of the nato forces. are they still acting in the area? >> i would like to take this opportunity to thank the nato forces for minimizing the casualties were civilians. friday morning, there were some attacks by nato forces against the gaddafi forces. this afternoon as i speak, i can hear them in the air and.
>> you personally have lost many family members. will it have been worth the sacrifice? >> absolutely. i lost my best friend and your brother -- dear brother. he died on sunday. i lost five members of my family. it is worth it to be free and feel the freedom after 42 years. it feels so good. it is the first time we feel really good. >> despite assurances from president assad's government that all military operations have stopped, activists in serious a security forces have killed at least 20 people as anti-government protesters took to the street. the bbc is not allowed to report freely from inside syria.
we have this report from neighboring lebanon. >> nothing much seems to have changed since president assad's said on wednesday that all military and police operations had stopped. videos on the internet cannot be verified independently. the show government forces acting against protesters again on a busy day in syria. the troops appeared to be on the rooftops and in the streets in the third largest city. several civilians were killed here. there was trouble in the suburbs of the capital of damascus. civilian deaths were reported here. at the united nations and elsewhere, patience is running short. the president agreed to allow a humanitarian mission to visit the trouble spots.
it hopes to go this weekend. >> we will concentrate on the places where there have been reports of fighting to see for ourselves exactly what has been going on. >> the pressures on mr. assad are building up. the european union is tightening sanctions on people close to his regime. the president told his faithful this week that syria would stand firm, whenever the pressures. he blames armed terrorist gangs for all the trouble. cox newspapers have shown footage -- >> tv and newspapers have shown footage of people with guns and knives attacking the police and security. there has been affected. for some reason, the west will only see with one eye and will only listen with one ear. >> the turks have not supported
the call for him to go now. they and the russians say he needs more time to implement the reforms he has promised. the struggle continues. the uprising is not going away, nor is the regime. five months on, nobody knows how this will end and how much longer it will take. bbc news in beirut. >> there has been international condemnation of an attack by the taliban on the british council building in kabul. they set off a car bomb at the gate. 12 people were killed. 4 british council staff hit in a safe room. no british were killed. we have this report from kabul. >> with heavy machine guns and grenades, the taliban came armed for a long fight.
this was a battle they knew they would not survive. most of the six attackers wore a suicide bests -- vests. they blew a hole in a wall with a car bomb and swarmed into the compound. afghan security guards kept the attackers at bay. >> we heard more than three explosions. we believe two of them were suicide bombers who had blown themselves up. one of them is still hiding in one of the areas of the building. >> it was the new zealand special forces and afghan commandos the family into the fight and kill all of the insurgents. the assault came in the west of the city near the intercontinental hotel. dozens were killed there in june. when it began, the staff headed to an underground safe room. they stayed there terrified as the gunbattle raged around him. the siege of the british council
lasted eight hours. it emerged that the attackers had disguised themselves in burkas to allow them to evade police checkpoints. >> the council staff in the compound were in the safe room for most of the day. we were in contact with them. they have been extracted safely. they are now in the embassy. they are shaken but well. >> today afghanistan celebrated the anniversary of freedom from british rule. that is why the taliban say they targeted the u.k. the british council promotes british culture. it is an example of soft power. the taliban saw it as a soft target. >> this is particularly vicious and cowardly. it is an attack that has not succeeded. this was an attack against british interests. it is also an attack against the afghan government.
british and american troops are preparing to leave. the afghans will have to take security -- take care of security on their own. they will do so eventually without foreign help. the insurgents have shown they can strike even the most heavily protected parts of the country. tonight the city remains on high alert and in fear that there may be more attacks to come. >> you are watching bbc news. showing respect for the riot victims. the duke and duchess of cambridge visit the areas hardest hit by the violence. organizers of the music festival in belgium and described the attack is unprecedented. in just five minutes, the wind and hail brought down stages, tense, and trees. three people are still in critical condition. the rest of the festival near
brussels has been cancelled. >> dazed and shocked, the festival goers who weathered the storm last night are packing up and leaving. the morning sunshine reveals the extent of the damage. organizers to cancel the remainder of the festival. foo fighters and others were scheduled to play over the rest of the weekend. it all started so well with the weather adding a dash of excitement. then the fund turned to terror as tense and other structures were ripped from their moorings. the storm was as sudden as it was filing. the clouds turned the evening sky in tonight. torrential rain and hail came down. powerful wind tore across this festival site sending thousands
to safety. some could not escape. stages gave way and lighting was tossed aside. the storm passed quickly but the rescue workers were left slithering in the mud caused by the downpour. >> there are three people fighting for their lives. >> it is one of europe's biggest open-air festivals with 60,000 people on site when the storm hit. organizers have described the storm as exceptional. they say weather forecasters had not predicted the intensity. safety officials are now investigating why so many structures collapsed in the wind. ♪ >> here are our top stories. it has been another day of fierce fighting in the bill as the rebel forces continue to push towards tripoli. thousands of foreigners could be evacuated to escape the violence.
activists in syria say security forces have opened fire on an anti-government demonstration, killing at least 20 people. we have more on our top story. i am joined by some one back in misurata after spending the day with the rebels. we have heard it was one of the worst days for casualties. what sort of injuries have you been treating? >> we have casualties, especially head trauma. we have about 200 people injured with minimal and severe injuries. our problem is the shortage of doctors for surgery.
we have a lot of head injuries because of the snipers and cannons. >> part of the problem is you do not have enough resources in terms of personnel to cope with the number of casualties? >> we have had 200 casualties. 40 are dead and 200 injured. we have a shortage at the hospital. we're trying to send the injured fighters outside to other areas. >> people are celebrating the liberation. how do you feel? >> we are very happy for our fighters.
40 is not a big number to have died in the fight. it is a large area in the western part of misurata. we started it 5:00 in the morning. by 6:00 in the afternoon, we in the center. i have visited the hospital. there no casualties there. the other troops were transferred. some in the icu have medical issues. we have another medical department. there are no casualties for trauma. there are maybe three or four
doctors. they may have stayed home or went outside. >> are you confident that tripoli will be next to fall? >> i think tripoli has a lot of fighting inside. i think gaddafi will fall before we reach tripoli. we have to hundred kilometers to go. -- 200 kilometers to go. i think gaddafi will fall before we reached tripoli. >> thank you for talking to us here on bbc news, a doctor. relatives of the norwegians shot dead by the gunman on the island last month have been visiting the scene for the first time.
family members have been accompanied by psychologists, priests, and investigators. steve rosenberg reports. >> it has been nearly one month since anders breivik killed their loved ones. they are now allowed to visit the area where the massacre took place. over the next two days, hundreds of family members of victors and some survivors will come here to the holiday island that became a killing ground. there are teams of psychologists and counselors to offer support. authorities hope these visits will bring some degree of peace. >> it is difficult for the relatives. nevertheless, they want to do this. >> they need to know. very often, they ask for details. this is where they can learn
more about the details as well. >> in oslo, the killer was back in court today. at a closed hearing, the judge ruled that breivik should continue to be kept in total isolation for four more weeks. he has admitted carrying out the killing spree in detonating a bomb in the center of oslo. he has denied criminal responsibility. >> i was hoping he would admit it. is a very difficult situation. he was only speaking and thinking of himself. >> earlier this week, breivik was taken back to the area. he spent eight hours walking around showing the police how and where he gunned down the 69
victims. this weekend, norway will honor the dead as special memorial services one month after the acts of terror left the nation in mourning. >> the spanish government has announced more austerity measures. they plan to cut hospital spending with a shift to a generic drugs. big businesses must pay their taxes. new home buyers will enjoy lower taxes. activists in spain were at the event with the pope. gay rights groups believe the teachings of the catholic church are homophobic. it is the start of -- the start of the spanish football season will be delayed this weekend. many players in the second division have not been paid for months. the club sps fac growinge financial difficulties.
>> the fans usually have a lot to cheer about. this is not what they want. this means the start of the new season has been delayed. the players are on strike over unpaid wages. many of the players have not been paid for months. on friday, there were talks between the players and the league to resolve the dispute. there was no agreement. spain's football league has glamour and star appeal. it is hard to be. it has well-known players. the front men for the squads are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. the fans are desperate to see their heroes back on the field. the pressure is on to get a deal. more talks are due on saturday. >> the duke and duchess of cambridge have been in birmingham to thank those who helped to restore order after
last week's riots. they went to a community center close to where three men were killed last week. >> they were meeting and thanking those who had been on the front lines during the nights of rioting. they were happy to pose for snapshots with some of those affected. they killed many of the guests how strongly they felt about coming here. -- they told many of the guests how strongly they felt about coming here. they met privately with the families of the three men hit by a car. the three men were buried yesterday. the duke and duchess came here to listen and hear the stories of the bereaved families and to learn more about the wider impact on the community. some of those they left behind say there is much more to be done to stop further trouble. >> we are the people on the
ground. we have to make sure the government helps. >> this footage is a reminder of how bad it got. the owner of the shop called a tsunami of lutooting. he got a chance to tell his story directly to william and kate. after six or seven sleepless nights, there is something to be happy about to make -- today. i am delighted they can come to my shock. >> i think the fact that they take time out to come here shows they do give a damn. it should be appreciated. >> it was appreciated by those waving off the royal couple. it was seen as a welcome sign of respect for them to visit. >> we have a lot more details on the bbc news website.